Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Steady in an instant world

Untitled (work in progress)
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Barbara Muir © 2015
Reading a book about Bonnard a week ago The Man
and the Woman, by Helen McLean, I
was encouraged by the way Bonnard described
work.  The expectations were so different
100 years ago.  The entire idea of instant results
had not materialized in any aspect of life. 

That reality I think gave artists a degree of
peace that we don't have today if a painting
takes weeks, or months to complete.  It would
never have occurred to artists a century ago to
worry about producing work in a day.

All this is what I've been thinking about as I
continue to work on this painting.  It is almost,
almost done.  But perhaps at least another day in
the making -- and I think I've decided to be fine
with that! 

Have a taking-your-own-sweet-time day.


Linny D. Vine said...

Fabulous, Barbara!!!

verna vogel said...

Yes, you should indeed be fine with that!! Take as many days as you need to. Your work is so lovely, it would not do to rush simply because you live in a time and place where quick results are extolled. It takes a certain type of mental discipline to not be carried away by the rushing stream, doesn't it? You are on the right track!

Instant results leave a lot to be desired. For one thing, in a world of instant results it's hard to maintain a bigger picture, a picture that extends beyond one's own lifetime. Think of the history of architecture, where, for example, a cathedral might take several generations of labour to complete, and so resonates in a much fuller, deeper way than your average garden shed. :)

I'm going to find that book and read it, sounds like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for posting!


Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Linny, you are a constant source of inspiration and
joy. I love vacations to Linnyland!!! Need to make a plan!


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Verna,

Thank you so much. I love what you are doing, and am totally blown away by your energy and dedication. Yes I can do it. True just having seen Notre Dame I know what you mean, and I didn't even get inside. I loved the realization that 100 years ago there was really no instant. Add whatever noun you want on the end it did not exist. I'm not saying life was better, it wasn't I know. But...
And how can I talk when I can reply to you instantly this way. :-)



Wendy Barrett said...

Wow, Barbara as ever you do magic things with your portraits!
You have captured such a beauteous expression in her face which also speaks of her strength of character and compassion.
The glitter and shine on the ocean is divine! I think it is wonderful that the book has made you conscious of savouring the last little drop of the journey of painting this piece.

I hope to try my hand at painting portraits one of these days and your work will be my "go to" inspiration.

Unknown said...

wonderful Barbara! you make it look so easy

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you so much. You are a complete sweetheart.
I can't wait to read your book, which I will order
tomorrow! This book let the reader into the world of
Bonnard's time, and even his thinking. I love that.
In a way yes, that gave me permission
to perhaps not savour the last few decisions, but to
allow them. I do get mighty tense sometimes towards
the end (it could be all the coffee I drink to keep
going! :-)


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Wow! Thank you. It is the opposite of easy sometimes,
but I love that thought. I love your work, and
hope all is well. Happy Anniversary!


cohen labelle said...

Interesting post, Barbara - food for thought, time and patience. I didn't know of this writer before or that she is also a painter.
Your recent portrait is sensitive and lyrical - in the long run it doesn't matter how long it took, no one will remember or care - the portrait itself, will speak for itself, a timeless thing.

xo, Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

Thank you. Keeping a balance in a lightning fast
world is hard sometimes. I would not have preferred
to live in another time, but thinking about the word
"instant" it struck me that only a short time ago
there was no such thing.


Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!